WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Page 177 of 207

the realities all writers face: developing a voice, finding a "real job," taking criticism, getting pub- lished, and dealing with rejection. "It's the book I wish someone had given me at 15, when I was editing my high school newspaper, writing short stories for speech, and dreaming of publishing a novel," Maher explains. An active volunteer for the Weston PTO Creative Arts program and past volunteer in the Weston Community Children's Association (WCCA), Maher writes full time and is mother to daughter Elena. On her Acknowledgments page, Maher thanks her "Weston mom tribe" for the playdates and encouragement, stating that their help "really helped me get the job done." The Kennedy Debutante, which is available October 2, portrays JFK's vivacious sister, Kick Kennedy, who arrives in London on the brink of World War II. With her father Joe as ambassador, Kick becomes the "It Girl" of the jazz-and-champagne social set, frequenting nightclubs like the 400 and befriending the likes of Deborah Mitford and Lady Astor. This coming-of-age story chronicles her forbidden love with the heir to a dukedom, Billy Hartington, her close relationship with her brother, Jack, and how the looming war will force her to choose between America and Britain, her Catholic faith and her Protestant suitor, and her all-consuming family legacy. WellesleyWeston Magazine caught up with Maher to learn more about her passion for writing and her historical fiction work on Kick Kennedy. WellesleyWeston Magazine: You've been writing for decades. Does it energize or exhaust you? Kerri Maher: It depends on the day. Mostly it energizes me because I really do love the pro- cess of writing so much. I've always said it feels like going on a joy ride with friends. But I also like revising because I feel like I have all this material that I'm working with, and I'm really working toward a finished product. When I'm done, I generally feel happy that I have done the work. WWM: What is your writing kryptonite? KM: I write when Elena is at school, so I have a finite number of hours when I can do so. I have to say "no" to activities that I love to par- ticipate in because I need time to write. WWM: What was an early experience when you learned that language had power? KM: I was in the seventh grade, and my English teacher read poems written by eighth graders. I remember thinking, "Wow, I want to be able to do that." WWM: What does literary success look like to you? KM: It's getting to live life around words, like 176 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 books "passion for writing"

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